As Michael Palin so eloquently put it, ‘Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?’ Geography is a subject for our times, inherently multidisciplinary in a world that increasingly values people who have the skills needed to work across the physical and social sciences. Learning outside the classroom is a vital part of Geography, therefore fieldwork is available at each Key Stage – locally at KS3 and residentially at KS4 and KS5.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum:
At Key Stage 3, we stimulate student curiosity, challenging them to appreciate and respect our dynamic world and empathise with different cultures. Class, homework and assessment activities are diverse, promoting independent research and transferable skills.
Term 1 introduces students to Geography and GIS and begins to explore our dynamic oceans and the seven continents that make up our Earth.
By Term 2, students will begin refining map skills and assess the UK’s current energy mix by completing an infographic.
In Term 3, students broaden their understanding of world biomes and hot deserts in particular, in addition to the water cycle, different types of rainfall, river basins and flooding. A day trip, to Birmingham Botanical Gardens, enhances the work completed on world biomes at school.
The tropical rainforest environment is experienced in Term 1, followed by wild weather and practical urban fieldwork in Stratford-upon-Avon – enhancing student knowledge, understanding and skills.
Term 2 explores a brief geological background of the UK, before concentrating on the coastal zone and the causes, effects and management of coastal erosion; climate change is the final topic of the term, with an issue evaluation to gauge the ability of students to analyse and assess data.
In Term 3, students continue to expand their knowledge and understanding by considering the causes and effects of migration across the Mediterranean Sea, using an infographic; in addition to a focus on the Asian continent and in particular the country of China. The year culminates in an independent environmental project based on either Russia, India or the Middle East region.
Term 1 begins with a look into human catastrophes and also broadens student’s understanding of tectonics and its management in HICs, NEEs and LICS; a day trip to Lapworth Museum at Birmingham University, provides valuable context to this topic.
The concept of development is explored in Term 2, along with globalisation, and finally an issue evaluation to gauge the ability of students to analyse and assess data before arriving at a substantiated conclusion – further enhancing their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Term 3 sees students focusing on fieldwork skills for both human and physical Geography, followed by an analysis of the UK’s current food, water and energy resources (or a mini EPQ on a subject they have chosen for GCSE, for those who have not chosen Geography).
Key Stage 4 Curriculum:
Key Stage 4 Geography is a dynamic subject that explains the natural and human world, its societies, economies and environments. Studying at GCSE will teach students how to critically analyse data and to read around the subject, furthering their knowledge and understanding of GIS data - turning maps from a two-dimensional representation of a country’s physical geography into those that also illustrate socioeconomic, political or environmental information.
Students are encouraged to understand their role in society by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes. They will apply geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real-world contexts, including fieldwork and contemporary situations and issues.
We analyse not just where people live, but how they live. We also learn about the physics of climate change; the interaction of weather events and flood risk and the way people’s behaviour is influenced by the space around them. This will result in a ‘melting pot’ of knowledge and understanding, transferable to many careers. Skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, synthesizing ideas, identifying issues and communicating findings - individually or as part of a team - will all be cultivated throughout this course. The GCSE specification has strong links with other subjects, including English and Science subjects which focus on sustainability and the global dimension.
For more information, please view the latest resources available below.
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